Kenya land grabbers to be exposed

June 2, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 2 – Civil society Organisations have vowed to revive findings of the Ndung’u Land Report as well as the Akiwumi Report on Land Clashes that implicated high ranking politicians and religious organisations in the illegal acquisition of public land.

Housed under the Multi-sectoral Committee of the ‘Yes’ Campaign, the organised groups on Wednesday said they would use the reports as a campaign tool to drum up support for the Proposed Constitution.

Center for Multiparty Democracy Chairman Larry Gumbe said the civil society would also call for the prosecution of those implicated in the reports so as to stop impunity in the country.

“We will use these reports to further the interests of the ‘Yes’ campaign. There is no monopoly of civic education from any source. And it is our democratic right to participate in the process of getting a new Constitution for Kenya which will abate and stop the land grabbing which has been there in the past,” he said.

He also maintained that those in the ‘No’ camp were hiding the main reasons for their opposition out of fear of reforms that will follow a positive referendum outcome.

“Kenya has fallen into a state of moral decadence. Irregular land allocations have greatly affected the productive capacities of individuals, families and communities. This has greatly heightened the tension and unhealthy competition for control of land and natural resources,” he said.

Peter Kariuki Chairman of the Campaign Steering Committee explained that the proposed new law would ensure that all the loopholes allowing Presidents to dish out public property to private individuals were sealed.

He said the current Constitution gives executive powers to the President thereby creating room for abuse.

“The new law will take away these superior powers and public land will be managed by county governments in coordination with the Kenya Land Commission. The President will no longer have power to illegally dish out land,” he said.

The civil societies further asked proponents of the ‘No’ campaign to base their drive on factual information: “We have engaged with them and they have seen a possibility that they could be wrong. But because they must achieve what they want they are now using deceit.”

The civil societies also warned of ‘grave’ consequences that a ‘No’ vote would have.

“Voting ‘No’ will be rewarding those who do not want to see peace and justice for all Kenyans. Grabbers have politicised their criminal activities by inciting communities against each other over real and perceived land issues. Let us vote wisely and secure the peace that our nation badly deserves,” said Prof Gumbe.



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